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Patent, iChat whiteboard
In brief: Apple has filed to patent a sensing display that includes display elements integrated with image sensing elements.... Apple may be planning to expand iChat by offering whiteboard features when it releases Mac OS X Leopard.... An avid Mac user has put together a video running applications in Parallel Workstation Beta 4 and in Windows using Boot Camp, showing the speed and performance of both solutions.... GetGoingTraining today released "Get Going with GarageBand 3," ($35) a DVD or QuickTime download offering in-depth training and tutorials for GarageBand 3, Apple's music creation software package.... Apple has released a technical note advising developers to uniquely identify a particular Mac, which describes those scenarios and recommended solutions for each case.
AAPL shareholder\'s meeting
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple and Pixar today at Apple's annual shareholder's meeting in Cupertino said he has no interest in becoming an executive at Walt Disney, but rather plans to spend more time at Apple once he is free of his duties as Pixar's executive officer. Disney recently agreed to acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion, which will simultaneously place Jobs on Disney's board of directors and make him the company's largest shareholder, once the deal is complete. An Apple shareholder asked Jobs at the meeting if he had any interest in becoming the Michael Eisner of Disney, according to the Associated Press. Jobs responded, saying that "it's not because I want to be a senior manager at Disney. I don't want to do that." Jobs added that Robert Iger -- the current CEO of Disney -- "is the best person to run Disney."
Casio 10MP Exilim Zoom
Casio today announced the EX-Z1000, the latest addition its stylish series of EXILIM ZOOM digital cameras. The new EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1000, small enough to be held in the palm of the hand, offers 10.1 megapixel resolution as well as features a large 2.8-inch LCD display. It features a 3x optical zoom lens, 37 best shot modes, 4x digital zoom, SD/MMC support, a self-timer, Anit-Shake technology, USB 2.0 support, a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, 8MB of internal memory, and internal microphone/speaker. In addition it offers a "Rapid Flash" function that allows up to three shots per second (results in a 50 percent reduction in flash range); a "Zoom Continuous Shutter mode" that allows the user to see and capture both a wide-angle and cropped "telephoto" shot with a single press of the shutter button; a "Quick Zoom" function allows users to easily return the camera to a preset zoom level; and a "Revive Shot" mode is designed for taking images of faded photo prints. It will ship in June for $400.
Apple stores, joint promo
Apple retail stores are set to hold a first-ever joint promotion for a new music album on May 2nd, and the Fifth Avenue NYC store is due to open its doors at 10:00 a.m. on May 6th. All Apple stores are to play the "Stadium Arcadium" album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers during the day as part of the musical event, and will hand out a limited number of cards redeemable at the iTunes Music Store for the first single from the album, "Dani California." The New York City store grand opening will mark the completion of construction at that location, offering 24-hour service to customers once the doors open. Yesterday MacNN noted that the Apple Store SoHo in New York City recently served its 5 millionth customer since its grand opening in July of 2002. [updated]
The future of Intel
Intel CEO Paul Otellini has said he plans to restructure and resize in a sweeping overhaul that will affect "every part" of the company, according to one report. "We are very well aware of the realities of our current and future business outlook," Otellini said, adding that Intel is "taking actions to address the realities." Following its best ever financial year in 2005, the chip maker has been struggling with heavy competition from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), as well as rising inventory levels, according to the Wall Street Journal. While the company recently predicted growth in revenues, a recent report showed a 38 percent drop in Q1 profit, which was accompanied by a negative outlook.
Fix surfaces for iPod bass
Addressing an apparent issue with Apple's iPod equalizer, one user has discovered a combination of iPod tweaks that fully eliminates equalizer distortion. While the iPod is generally accepted as a well balanced audio device, its bass tones often leave users wishing for more. A "rolloff" in lower tones when using headphones ranging from 16 to 32 ohms has also been reported, and Apple's bundled earbuds unfortunately fall within this range, according to dapreview. The user reports that by utilizing a free open-source program called MP3Gain to reduce the volume of music files and enabling the iPod's "Bass Boost" preset, bassy songs play without distortion or clipping. iPod owners can increase the volume output of their devices by running a utility called euPod, which removes built-in volume caps on European and U.S. iPod models to compensate for the softer output volume after running MP3Gain.
Interarchy 8.0.1 ($40) is a Universal Binary update to the internet application for Mac OS X, natively supporting Intel Macs. Interarchy can download and upload files via FTP, SFTP, WebDAV (including iDisks), and FTP over SSH. Version 8.0.1 adds Automator actions and dashboard Widgets.
[Download - 8.4MB]
Synergy 2.8 ($) is a small Cocoa application for Mac OS X 10.2 or later that puts previous track, next track, and play/pause buttons in the menubar to control iTunes. The software provides visual feedback about the currently playing tune, and allows users to set floater background transparency to entirely solid or completely transparent. The update also adds two new sample "Track Change Items," and adds a new button set to the online gallery. [Download - 1.4MB]
photoprinto 2.1 ($30) updates the photo album/scrapbook application, improving performance importing from iPhoto. Photoprinto enables users to create and print photo albums, scrapbooks, and single pages. The software includes designer templates, a variety of visual effects, and incorporates minor bug fixes/enhancements. [Download - 10.7MB]
Troi File Plug-in 3.0.7 for FileMaker Pro 8 ($70) is a tool for accessing information outside a FileMaker Pro database. Troi File Plug-in 3.0.7 improves the handling of EXIF data, SMB network disks, and enhances support for longer file paths of up to 1,000 characters. [Download - 2MB]
ImageCaster 2.0.1 ($30) updates the Webcam solution, providing native support for Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary. Version 2.0.1 updates graphics for circular buttons, adds a preference setting to disable automatic checking for updates, and includes smart window staggering as well as online help. [Download - 2.2MB]
Hearts of Iron 2 ships
Macgamestore.com today began offering the boxed version of Hearts of Iron 2 by Virtual Programming exclusively in North America. "Hearts of Iron 2 is the sequel to the most appreciated World War II PC game of true Grand Strategic scope ever made. As in its forbear, the map spans the entire world and allows you to play one of over 175 countries during the course of World War II. The game is completely revised with an updated combat system, a new map, revised and easy-to-use interface, new technology tree and hundreds of other updates and improvements." The boxed version of Hearts of Iron 2 is available for $40, and requires Mac OS X (specific system requirements were unavailable).
Inno vs iPod, Adobe
In brief: Apple currently enjoys a dominant position in the MP3 player market, but may face increased competition from new hybrid devices such as the new Inno, which combines digital music playback along with satellite radio in a hand-held form factor.... Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen has said the company will not rely on Boot Camp to deliver Mac versions of its software, but will instead release a native version of its major titles for Intel-based Macs because "writing directly to the Macintosh operating system is an advantage to the customers...." Peachpit Press has released "Apple Boot Camp Public Beta First Look" ($7), a full-color downloadable PDF book by Ben Long that walks readers step by step through everything they need to know to get Boot Camp running effectively.... Printronix today launched its podcast series with original programming for supply-chain operators eager to learn best practices in radio frequency identification (RFID) implementation.... Marware today rolled out the C.E.O. Folio case ($35, shown at right) for 30GB and 60GB iPod with video. [corrected]
Ingest Engine 1.0 debuts
Popwire today introduced Ingest Engine 1.0, a client/server solution designed to migrate tape-based content to the digital workflow. Several clients can work with importing and storing media on one central server that is also connected to the tape player (DV, Beta, and others) and where the actual importing takes place. The setup requires one powerful server, one interface between the tape player and the server, and one tape player. When workgroup requirements rise, users can add additional servers with attached tape players to be controlled from the same client systems. Ingest Engine handles MPEG-2, DV, MPEG-4 Proxy, PBF or uncompressed 4:2:2 and supports VTR control via the standard RS-422 remote protocol. Each server handles one video adapter, and Ingest Engine supports the AJA Io series of video capture units. Ingest Engine 1.0 is being demonstrated in the Popwire booth at NAB2006 in booth #SL1445 (pricing and system requirements were unavailable).
Onset launches data logger
Onset Computer has launched the HOBO Water Temp Pro 2, a new Mac-compatible data logger for tracking water temperatures in a broad range of applications, from coral reef studies to stream habitat research. The device features a durable polypropylene housing able to withstand years of use in fresh or salt water up to 50-degrees Celsius, and can measure and record water temperatures for more than one year before reaching memory capacity. The HOBO Water Temp Pro 2 offers compatibility with Onset's new HOBO Waterproof Shuttle to provide safe data transport, features reliable data offload via a USB interface, and boasts a depth rating of up to 400 feet. The HOBO Water Temp Pro 2 is available for $110 (system requirements were unavailable).
MacNN review, Yahoo Go TV
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the Logitech Cordless Desktop s530 keyboard and mouse ($80-100).... Yahoo! Go TV -- Yahoo!'s digital video service -- will launch just one week after Meedio announced it had been acquired.... Google has released a free version of SketchUp for Windows users with support for Google Earth, and is touting a free Mac version slated for release in the near future.... Automakers at the New York Auto Show last week showed surprisingly few signs of advertising iPod integration, as some expected.... Apple is rumored to be in talks with Sony and other studios to include iPod versions of movies on Blu-Ray releases, which could greatly expand the company's movie offerings.... Numerous Dell customers are reportedly complaining about severe color banding issues on their new 2007WFP flat panel LCDs.
750GB FireWire drive
Seagate Technology today introduced its 750GB Pushbutton Back-up Hard Drive, which includes easy-to-use backup software that protects system and data files with a simple touch of a button on the drive. Following yesterday's debut of the 750GB internal drive, the external combo desktop drive includes USB 2.0 and FireWire connections and sports a sleek design incorporating a sturdy, non-slip stand for vertical desktop placement plus the ability to stack multiple drives on top of one another. The 750GB Pushbutton Back-up Hard Drive is the first 3.5-inch external drive to use Seagate's revolutionary perpendicular recording technology. It be available May 2006 for $560.
Parallels Workstation b5
Parallels today released the latest beta of Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X, its software that allows users to run Windows alongside Mac OS X (without rebooting) on Intel-based Macs. Beta 5 brings new USB support, a Shared Folder function to easily share documents between Windows and Mac OS X, and improved sound support. The latest version also adds support for dynamic screen resolutions, offering a list of available screen resolutions is dynamically populated with primary OS resolutions. In addition, it adds an optional "transition cube" animation for transitioning to and from fullscreen mode and a new default network adapter for bridged mode. Although the release date is not yet finalized, users who pre-order their copy of Parallels Workstation will receive $10 off the $50 retail price.
CEO Folio case for iPod
Marware today announced the immediate availability of the C.E.O. Folio case for 30GB and 60GB iPod with video. THe C.E.O Folio is described as a "functional case for those who prefer an elegant and convenient way to carry their iPod with video to and from the office." Designed for mobile executives, the C.E.O. Folio offers a handy lined notepad and pen, and several interior pockets to store an ID and credit cards. In addition, it features a rich full-grain black leather exterior, contrasting stitching and secure snap closure. Designed to fit both the 30GB and 60GB iPod with video, the C.E.O. Folio allows easy access to the Dock connector, headphone jack and hold switch. The soft microsuede interior features built-in protection for the iPod's screen. It is available for $35.
LaunchBar 4.1 released
Objective Development today released LaunchBar 4.1, an update to the company's popular, award winning search/productivity utility. The final version introduces a new Scripts indexing rule along with a comprehensive set of built in utility scripts such as Sleep, Shut Down, Append Text, Calculate (performs numeric calculations), Volume control (Mute, Mute Off, Maximum Volume, etc.), iTunes playback control (Play, Pause, Next Song, Previous Song, etc.), Entourage control scripts (Address Book View, Calendar View, etc.), and more. Version 4.1 nearly doubles search performance, offers an improved contextual menu, supports color labels, vastly improves iTunes support, improves Address Book support, and features new "Search in Spotlight" and "Look Up in Dictionary" functionality. A business license is $40, a home license is $20, while a Family License is $30. The Universal application requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
MacBook Pro sleeve case
WaterField Designs has announced it will be shipping a sleeve designed specifically for Apple's newly-introduced 17-inch MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro SleeveCase is a slim, durable covering made of a sturdy ballistic nylon shell and a high-grade neoprene interior that envelopes itself around the MacBook Pro for a snug fit. It can be used as a stand-alone case, or can be inserted into briefcases, messenger bags, or backpacks. Customers have the option of personalizing their MacBook Pro SleeveCase to match their own needs. The WaterField SleeveCase comes in either a vertical or horizontal orientation, and customers can create their own style by choosing to add either a front flap for added protection, or a strap for carrying the SleeveCase by itself when not inserted into another bag. A detachable gear holder, the Piggyback, is also offered, which carries accessories like a power adapter, a mouse, or an AirPort Express. Pricing starts at $40 and it is expected to ship on May 3rd.
Inno takes on iPod?
While Apple enjoys a dominant position in the MP3 player market, garnering nearly 80 percent markeshare, it may face competition from new hybrid devices. the new Inno, which combines digital music playback along with satellite radio in a hand-held form factor, is a new next-generation portable player from XM Satellite Radio along with Pioneer and future iPod chip supplier Samsung (who also manufactures players that compete with the iPod).
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